On the agenda…
- Rezoning 22.59 acres at Rolling Hills Drive and Old Missouri Road.
- Downgrading Rolling Hills Drive from a Principal Arterial to Collector status.
- Rezoning 56 acres southeast and southwest of Rupple Road and Mount Comfort Road.
- Removing a Bill of Assurance on property at 15th Street and Curtis Avenue.
- A rezoning appeal for 6.64 acres at 4550 N. Crossover Road.
- Changes to the city’s alcoholic beverages law.
- The razing and removal of a house on North College Avenue.
A meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, 2018 inside room 219 of City Hall, located at 113 W. Mountain St. in Fayetteville.
Listed below are the items up for approval and links to PDF documents with detailed information on each item of business.
Present: Adella Gray, Sarah Marsh, Mark Kinion, Matthew Petty, Mayor Lioneld Jordan, Justin Tennant, Sarah Bunch, John La Tour, Kyle Smith
City Council Meeting Presentations, Reports and Discussion Items
1. Monthly Financial Report – Paul Becker, City Finance Director
Consent items are approved in a single, all-inclusive vote unless an item is pulled by a council member.
1. Approval of the April 17, 2018 City Council Meeting Minutes
– Pass 8-0
2. Hugg and Hall Equipment Company (Details): A resolution to authorize the purchase of a Volvo ECR145E Excavator from Hugg and Hall Equipment Company of Springdale, Arkansas, in the amount of $150,641.00 pursuant to a National Joint Powers Alliance Cooperative Purchasing Agreement, for use by the Transportation Services Department.
– Pass 8-0
3. Bobcat Company (Details): A resolution to authorize the purchase of a Bobcat E42 T4 Compact Excavator in the amount of $45,902.70 and a Bobcat HB980 Hydraulic Breaker Attachment in the amount of $6,744.20, plus applicable sales taxes, from Bobcat Company of West Fargo, North Dakota, pursuant to a National Joint Powers Alliance Cooperative Purchasing Agreement, for use by the Water and Sewer Operations Division.
– Pass 8-0
4. Lewis Automotive Group (Details): A resolution to authorize the purchase of a 2018 Dodge Ram 1500 4WD Quad Cab from Lewis Automotive Group of Fayetteville, Arkansas in the amount of $22,572.00, pursuant to a state procurement contract, for use by the Water and Sewer Operations Division.
– Pass 8-0
5. Tactical Body Armor Vests (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $16,058.00 to appropriate funds for the purchase of Tactical Body Armor Vests for 4th Judicial District Drug Task Force investigators.
– Pass 8-0
6. State Drug Crime Enforcement and Prosecution Grant (Details): A resolution to authorize acceptance of a State Drug Crime Enforcement and Prosecution Grant for state funding of the Fourth Judicial District Drug Task Force in the amount of $37,614.14, and to authorize Mayor Jordan to sign all necessary documents to receive the grant funds.
– Pass 8-0
7. Garner Stoll Honorarium Acceptance (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $1,000.00 recognizing an honorarium received by Development Services Director Garner Stoll from the University of Arkansas to be allocated to the Development Services Travel and Training Budget.
– Pass 8-0
8. CivicPlus, Inc. (Details): A resolution to approve a three- (3) year contract with CivicPlus, Inc. for the purchase of CivicRec recreation management software in the amount of $25,875.00 for the first year and $4,500.00 for the second year, plus applicable sales taxes, with an annual price increase of five percent (5%) for the third year and beyond, and to approve a project contingency in the amount of $4,000.00 each year the contract is in effect.
– Pass 8-0
9. Public Access Television Fee Revenue (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $9,470.00 recognizing public access television fee revenue to be used for promotional activities and the purchase of minor equipment.
– Pass 8-0
10. Bid #18-19 Custom Pavement Maintenance and Safety, LLC (Details): A resolution to award Bid #18-19 and authorize a contract with Custom Pavement Maintenance and Safety, LLC for paint removal and repainting at Drake Field in the amounts set forth in the bid documents for an estimated total of $124,300.00, to approve a project contingency in the amount of $11,670.00, to authorize acceptance of an Arkansas Department of Aeronautics 90/10 matching grant in the amount of $128,970.00, and to approve a budget adjustment.
– Pass 8-0
11. Special Needs Assistance Program Grant Agreements (Details): A resolution to approve the renewal of two special needs assistance program grant agreements with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the total amount of $228,826.00 for the city to administer programs to assist homeless Fayetteville residents.
– Pass 8-0
– Pass 5-3
The Planning Commission first approved the request 7-0 in January, but after an application deficiency was discovered, the item needed to be re-approved before it could be forwarded to the council. During that second process, it passed 4-3 with three commissioners siding with neighbors who said the rezoning could negatively impact traffic and safety.
Staff outlined the differences in the current zoning and the requested rezoning.
Current RSF-4 Zoning
Density: 4 units/acre
Conditional uses (must apply for separate permit): 2-family
1-family – 70 feet / 8,000 SF
2-family – 80 feet / 12,000 SF
Requested NC Zoning
Density: 10 units/acre
Conditional uses (must apply for separate permit): 2, 3 or 4-family
1-family – 40 feet / 4,000 SF
2-family – 80 feet / 4,000 SF
3-family – 90 feet / 4,000 SF
April 17 public discussion
The first few residents to speak cited traffic, and environmental concerns as reasons why the area shouldn’t be rezoned.
One person asked the council to table the issue to allow people some time to figure out a way to raise enough money to buy the land and somehow preserve it.
Another resident said the council should consider that there is strong opposition to increasing the density in the area.
Council member Petty interjected and asked those planning to speak in general terms against an increase in density to clarify why they are opposed to more people in the area, aside from the most common theme that dominates all rezoning oppositions (increased traffic). He said he wants to understand what is fundamentally wrong with more people living in the neighborhood.
The next person to speak said more people in the area could lead to an overpopulation at Butterfield Trail Elementary School.
Lucas Regnier, a nearby neighbor and lawyer who recently announced plans to seek the Ward 3 City Council seat that will be vacated by Justin Tennant after this year, said a local non-profit is interested in purchasing a portion of the land for preservation purposes. He did not name the organization.
“A capital campaign has begun and is being vigorously pursued,” he told the council.
Several more residents spoke about stormwater runoff concerns if the land is developed.
City Engineer Chris Brown said all new developments must comply with the city’s stormwater management ordinances that include retention ponds and other drainage infrastructure.
Another person mentioned tabling the request to allow time for an organization to raise enough money to buy the land.
The last person to speak said Fayetteville needs additional affordable housing options, which is something the requested NC rezoning might encourage.
Council member Tennant said he’d like to leave the item on the first reading (which is the standard procedure unless the rules are suspended) instead of tabling it for some arbitrary amount of time. Council member Kinion agreed.
Petty clarified what he mentioned earlier. He said traffic issues are indeed a valid concern, but he suspects some arguments are being used as a proxy for other reasons. He said in the coming weeks, people should think hard about what is most salient to them. He said people have said they don’t want apartments nearby, but they haven’t said why. He said if they don’t want renters living next to them, they should just say so.
Don Marr, the mayor’s chief of staff, said his staff would reach out to the school district and see if they would be willing to come to the next City Council meeting and discuss the issues that were brought forward in regards to school overpopulation.
May 1 discussion
Mitch Weigel, a real estate agent representing the property owner, reminded the council that the rezoning request is to allow smaller homes on smaller lots than what is currently allowed.
Dr. John L. Colbert, acting superintendent of Fayetteville Public Schools, spoke second and presented some information about enrollment. Butterfield Trail Elementary School has a maximum capacity of 591 students, but currently only has 533 students enrolled. Colbert said enrollment projections at Butterfield do not show any expected capacity issues for at least the next 10 years (see the enrollment data here). Colbert said the district’s projections do take into account the potential for growth in undeveloped areas.
During public comment, one person said they didn’t understand why the applicant would be applying for a rezoning before a development proposal is in place. Mayor Jordan said it’s most common for a rezoning to occur before a development is presented.
One neighbor who spoke said he believes a higher density neighborhood would mean a lower income group of new residents moving into the area. He said he believes a lower income neighborhood would lead to more crime which would lower his property value.
A few residents who spoke against the rezoning cited environmental concerns as reasons why the land shouldn’t be rezoned. Others said the proposed rezoning isn’t compatible with the existing neighborhood.
One person said she thinks the city or council might be trying to force this rezoning on the property owner for some unknown reason.
Council member Petty said he doesn’t think many people have much faith in the city’s ability to properly regulate development, which, he said, is understandable since mistakes have been made in the past.
But, Petty said a closer examination of the current council and administration’s track record would show that diligent efforts have been made in recent years to increase the standards by which developments are approved. He cited the recent streamside and hillside regulations as examples, among others.
Petty said for better or worse the council is required to consider rezonings at a planning level rather than a detailed development level, and he hasn’t heard anything new tonight that would change his mind about the request. He said he isn’t a big fan of the requested rezoning because it doesn’t go as far as he’d like in terms of increased density, but said it is more suitable than the current zoning because it does allow for at least some increase in density. “In a very raw way it is better for our city,” said Petty.
Ward 3 council member Tennant said Petty is right about the recent positive changes to the city’s regulation process. However, he said the neighbors do have some legitimate fears of the unknown.
Tennant said there are some obvious traffic issues in the area, and he’s not sure the council shouldn’t wait until those concerns are addressed before increasing density. He said the current zoning already allows for development and he feels most comfortable leaving it the way it is.
Council member Smith said the adjacent Huntingdon subdivision – where many of those who are speaking tonight live – was contentious when it was first developed many years ago. He said those who were against it were very passionate about preserving their own neighborhood’s character. He said it’s possible if this request is approved it could lead to a nice neighborhood with some very passionate residents who are just as proud of their area’s character one day.
Ward 3 council member Bunch said she also has concerns about traffic and is considering voting against the request.
Council member Marsh said the decision before the council is about land use, not a particular development. She was referring to the residents’ concerns about why a rezoning is being considered without a detailed development plan. She said she thinks more density is a better fit and likes that the proposal allows for a mix of different types of housing. She said she’d definitely support the request.
Council member La Tour said all cities have traffic issues. He said if traffic is really such a big problem for someone, they should move somewhere outside the city. He said the neighbors shouldn’t be telling the property owner what to do with their land. “People should be free to own property and, within reason, do what they want with their property,” La Tour said.
Council member Kinion said he has always leaned toward preserving the character of a neighborhood, but he has gone back and forth about this request several times. He said there are some unnecessary fears that have been voiced, and he is very disappointed to hear that some residents believe there is some type of conspiracy on the part of the council to push this rezoning through. However, Kinion said he isn’t ready to approve an increase in density at this time.
Council member Gray said she was also very disappointed to hear claims about a conspiracy because that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Gray said she would support the request.
Petty moved to send the request to the third and final reading. The motion was approved.
During the final decision, the rezoning passed 5-3 with Bunch, Kinion and Tennant voting against.
– Pass 8-0
The amendment is supported by city planning staff, the Planning Commission and the Transportation Committee.
See our March 13 story for more information about the recommendation.
The first person to speak tonight said she’s in favor of the downgrade, but doesn’t want any extension of Rolling Hills Drive at all. She said the noise generated from a road next to the Butterfield playground would be detrimental to students. She also said a “rollercoaster road” built through the current undeveloped topography would be difficult for students to walk along if walking to school.
The next person to speak said he would also like to remove the extension. If connectivity is needed, he said he’d rather see the developer of the land build small neighborhood streets.
Another person said the area’s current infrastructure won’t be able to handle an extension of Rolling Hills Drive.
Mayor Jordan said he is currently working with the city engineering staff to add a traffic signal and crosswalk at the intersection of Old Missouri and Rolling Hills. Staff said the signal could possibly be completed by the time school starts in August, but it may take a little longer.
Council member Tennant said he doubts the extension will ever be built, but said there are good reasons for having a master plan in place, and he has confidence in that planning process, so he’ll be supporting the request as it’s written.
Bunch agreed, and said she didn’t want to give up the leverage the city would have in designating a collector street by removing the extension entirely.
Petty moved to pass the resolution. Bunch seconded.
The resolution was passed unanimously.
3. RZN 18-6122: (SE & SW of Rupple Rd. & Mt. Comfort Rd./Hazen) (Details): An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 18-6122 for approximately 56.02 acres located southeast and southwest of Rupple Road and Mount Comfort Road from RSF-4, Residential Single Family, 4 units per acre, RSF-1, Residential Single Family, 1 unit per acre, and R-A, Residential Agricultural to CS, Community Services and R-A, Residential Agricultural.
– Pass 8-0
In 2016, the owner requested a similar rezoning that failed by a vote of 3-3. The new request has support from city staff and the Planning Commission.
Here’s a map:
Staff said the area has a large number of residents, but lacks basic goods and services, requiring those residents to drive long distances to meet their daily needs. The requested rezoning, staff said, recognizes this issue and could help alleviate the lack of services in the area.
April 17 discussion
A neighbor who spoke said more services would be a welcome addition to the area.
The council moved to the second reading by a vote of 6-1 with Ward 4 council member Smith voting against. Smith said he’s generally in favor of the project, but would like to give the public more time to consider the request. He said he’d like to hold the item on the second reading.
La Tour, the other Ward 4 council member, said he’d like to move forward. He moved to send the item to its third and final reading, but there was no second.
May 1 discussion
There was no public comment on May 1.
The ordinance was approved unanimously.
4. Remove Bill of Assurance E. 15th St. & Curtis Ave. (Details): An ordinance to discharge and remove the Bill of Assurance related to the property described in exhibit a because such protective language is no longer needed.
– Fail 4-4
In 1982 the city sold this land with a requirement that it be used for a gas station with a convenience store and car wash. The current landowner would like the city to remove that stipulation from the rezoning ordinance so the property can have flexibility for other commercial types if needed.
Council member Marsh said she thinks this creates an opportunity for the landowner to request a rezoning of this property to one of the city’s form-based zones. She said she won’t support the removal of the Bill of Assurance without a request for a form-based zone.
Council member Smith agreed.
During the vote, the ordinance failed 4-4 with Smith, Marsh, Kinion and Petty voting against.
City Attorney Kit Williams asked city staff if this particular property could even be developed in a form-based way because of its size and shape. Staff said it would be challenging, but yes.
1. Raze and Removal ATR Properties, LLC (Details): A resolution to order the razing and removal of a dilapidated and unsafe structure on property owned by ATR Properties, LLC located at 1946 N. College Ave. in the City of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and to approve a budget adjustment of $11,678.00.
– Tabled until May 15
Some photos (more images in the agenda details):
Council member Marsh said she would like to table the request to allow time for someone to consider historical preservation of the property.
1. VAC 18-6088 (525 S. School Ave./Mill District) (Details): An ordinance to approve VAC 18-6088 for properties located at 525 S. School Ave. and 423 Prairie Street to vacate an access easement between the two properties.
– Pass 7-0
Council member Petty recused from the discussion and vote. He is an owner of the abutting property.
2. RZN 18-6125 (4550 N. Crossover Rd./Kesner) (Details): An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 18-6125 for approximately 6.64 acres located at 4550 N. Crossover Road from R-A, Residential Agricultural to P-1, Institutional.
– Pass 7-1
City staff are in favor of the request, but the Planning Commission denied this request 4-5 on April 9. Those against said they’d prefer the property be rezoned in either Urban Thoroughfare or Community Services – two of the city’s form-based districts which place buildings next to the curb with parking in the rear.
City attorney Kit Williams said the two form-based zones mentioned by Planning Commissioners not only fail to mention churches in their “Purpose” sections, but show they are really not as appropriate for development of a local church serving Fayetteville residents.
Williams said commissioners also expressed a desire to see the church built in a form-based district because it would provide better aesthetics for pedestrians and drivers passing by, something that is constitutionally suspect.
Williams said he believes that attempting to force a church to move its building and “address the street” by refusing to zone its parcel to Institutional which is the only zoning district “designed to protect and facilitation use of property owned by…church related organizations,” could violate federal law.
In a memo to the council, Williams said no adjoining or nearby property owners have expressed any opposition to this rezoning, and that its immediate neighbor is a large funeral home and he believes a new church would be “very compatible” with this funeral home.
Council member Marsh said she agrees with the Planning Commissioners who were against the request, and would prefer a form-based zoning district.
La Tour disagreed and said he’d support the appeal.
Gray said the council shouldn’t expect a form-based zone for every request. She said she would support the appeal.
Tennant echoed some of Gray’s comments and said a church would be appropriate at this unusual site. Smith and Bunch agreed.
Petty said he would side with the city attorney, but only because of the legal liabilities. He said the “Purpose” sections of those two form-based zones need to be re-written.
During the vote, the rezoning was passed 7-1 with Marsh voting against.
3. Amend §111.30 Retail (Details): An ordinance to amend §111.30 retail in Chapter 111: Alcoholic Beverages of the City Code to allow private clubs and on-premises consumption hotel, motel, and restaurant alcohol permit holders to sell, serve or permit the consumption of controlled beverages beginning at 7:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday.
– Pass 8-0
The item is sponsored by Ward 3 Council member Justin Tennant on behalf a restaurant owner. Staff said this has been requested several times. The restaurant owners said they serve third-shift customers who are just getting off work and they’d like to be able to serve alcoholic beverages to those customers.
Tennant said it’s not fair for folks who get off work early in the morning to not be able to buy alcohol like anyone else who’d like to buy an alcoholic beverage after work.
Marsh said she noticed the law also includes “Christmas Day” as a date when alcohol can’t be sold before 10 a.m. She moved to amend the law to remove that language. Petty seconded. However, Williams said state law already restricts the sale of alcohol before 10 a.m. on Christmas Day, so it would be best to mirror state law. Marsh rescinded her motion.
The ordinance was passed unanimously.
4. Amend § 164.22 and § 166.01 (Details): An ordinance to amend § 164.22 Cluster Housing Development (c) Development Review Process and § 166.01 Development Categories (b) Subdivision of Land (1) Lot Split to allow individual cluster housing unit lots to be processed through the subdivision platting process as a lot split.
– Pass 8-0
“If individual cluster housing unit lots are proposed and the proposal meets all of the requirements in this section, the subdivision shall be processed through the subdivision platting process as a lot split regardless of the number of lots created.”
Also, the code’s subdivision of land lot split subsection would read:
“Except for lot splits created pursuant § 164.22 Cluster Housing Development (C) Development Review Process, after the creation of more than four lots from an original parent tract, any subsequent subdivision of the parent or resulting tracts is required to be processed as a preliminary/final plat or concurrent plat.”
– An online survey is available to gather opinions on current park conditions, resident needs and priorities, and recreation offerings.
– The installation of public art on School Avenue will temporarily close portions of the road between Dickson and Mountain streets from Tuesday, May 1 through Friday, May 4.
This meeting was adjourned at 9:54 p.m.